Anything For a Fan

photo, group of doug, edna, bob, susan Club members Doug, Edna, Bob and Susan, au natural.

Photos Not Photoshopped

by Ric Erickson

Paris:– Thursday, 20. July:–  Once again the world's focus shifts from the puny affairs of man to the magnificence of Boggleville, which today adds amazement to awe as its mademade beach deftly spans the Seine to become plural Paris–Plages, with a stirring slogan ringing in all ears to be remembered throughout the ages – "More is better good for you!"

Meanwhile back in the real world but still in Boggleville, we have the weather forecast. This is one worthy, rather than extraordinary, of this town in summer. To those surprised to find themselves sweaty and hot, who are here expressly to escape the rigors of south Florida, all I can say is, we have all the garlic you can stand!

Based on a combination of tonight's TV–weather news and today's forecast in Le Parisien – although not in color – here is the latest. Expect storms tomorrow because they didn't quite happen today, but these will mostly be in eastern France, while here it may be mostly sunny and variable. The Alert Orange is over even though the overnight low is to be 20 degrees, while the high on Friday might be 32 degrees.

photo, first dancers, paris plages 2006Eleven months' wait to shake their shoes again.

Meanwhile the ozone is to become iffy with Saturday's variable skies that will be less boring than total blue, enhanced as they will be by a passing wave of muck–weather. In terms of Celsius it may be about 31 degrees.

Sunday will be another remarkable day in the annals of weather history by being mostly sunny most places around here, with a comfortable and moderate high temperature of 27 degrees. It would be well to remember one of Le Parisien's headlines for today – "Il fait trop chaud pour travailler." Read all about it on page 12.

The 'Anything For a Fan' Report

Devil–may–care was my not mood when I set off for the club this afternoon, until I noticed that the air was kinder than it's been and a trailing breeze pushed up my shirt tail and caressed my back that has been spending a lot of time glued to sticky chairs. This feeling returned almost immediately in the Métro, in a wagon full of gaspers and users of anything for a fan.

photo, glasses of the week Better late than none, the drinks.

After wheezing along Dauphine coming to the breeze cruising along the Seine was marginally refreshing. If the sky had not become gray and heavy, reaching ever lower, the blue sails along Paris–Plages would have been more welcome. It is a rule here that the opening day cannot be too brilliant because after that downhill is the only direction.

You may wonder how it is possible to tell that all the traffic that formerly used the river–side speedway has crammed itself into the remaining and non–expandable Quai du Louvre. It is plugged solid now. Just like it is plugged solid all the time, but especially during club meetings. Still I sense it is plugged more solid than ever. I have a short nose for these things.

Well, te dum do do, it is cooler today. I kept telling myself this as I got warmer, got to the club's café, got inside and took up a place near the windows in the back, thinking maybe I could ask Patrick to open them. Motionless, I cooked, turned to melted butter.

Before I could assess this feeling members Edna and Bob Bradley from Costa Mesa in Orange County pulled up, selected chairs and collapsed. Not more than a few minutes later, long before learning everything about their personal war with bugs, members Susan and Doug Fuss presented themselves for the meeting.

photo, water glass of the weekThe drinks of the week.

Had I remembered any names I could have made introductions rather than hoping that all members were already acquainted, which they weren't. After two minutes when Patrick said the windows couldn't be opened, Doug suggested we move to another part of the café's grande salle. This we did and though the relief was slight it was better than the stew we had been in.

We discussed the usual places one can find air conditioning such as hotel lobbies if not hotel rooms, and in a pinch one can always pretend to be shopping in a Monoprix or a Picard frozen food boutique. For example the Bradleys had fond memories of their Eurostar train ride from London.

And by then Patrick had found us again and everybody ordered drinks, mostly water or things containing a lot of water. He had remembered me first and I sat there looking at my full caraffe and glass full of ice for 20 minutes before anything came for the members.

Then, somewhat refreshed, Doug showed us his souvenir from Beirut. He thought he was buying a t–shirt with a discrete logo of the US Embassy in Beirut on the front and it was only as he was being flown in a CH–53 to Cyprus that he became aware of the larger message on the back. Luckily he was not trying to pass through security at JFK.

photo, t-shirt of the weekT–shirt of the week from Beruit.

Doug goes on 'missions' and he was helping some Lebanese software geeks get their marketing together, when he heard what he thought was thunder. The next thing he heard was the US Embassy telling him he had to get out of town, pretty much like it was telling thousands of others. "Only two restaurants were still open," he says.

Susan wants to 'compliment' the embassy in Beirut. She says people will be complaining about hanging around for four days, bombs flying around, without realizing how complicated it might be to extract 8000 folks from a war zone without them getting shot down or sunk. We all toast Doug with water, except Bob who does it with cidre.

In a change of subject, Bob happily admits to Photoshopping photos. He puts blue in white skies, fixes defects on grandkids, and has a high old great time improving his photos. I explain why this is not done with the photos in Metropole. If Boggleville has warts they stay in the pictures.

photo, glass of beer of the week Not what I think – it's not cider.

Doug suggests I go up the the Etoile to get a photo of workmen repaving the big traffic circle. This is a good tip but it is hard to capture from any position lower than a helicopter. He is amazed that the stone cobbles are replaced, one by one, and positioned by hand. My guess is that the tanks tore up the surface during the 14. July parade. Tanks are rough to civilian roads, as we can see almost every night on TV–news.

Then, after the 'group photo of the week,' while Doug is trying to convince Patrick to come by and take some money, Susan says she wants to know how she can get through six days on 100 euros – and as soon as Doug gets here from Beirut he has to spend 100 euros a day.

The two couples exchange cards out on the terrace and then depart in opposite directions. Nothing new and better has happened with the sky but I cross over and take the stairs down to Paris–Plages for an opening day squint, and an apéro at a handy bar. They are a bit muddled but I get a drink, watch the folks dancing – dancing in the afternoon! – and filling plastic containers with free water.

Notice of Slight Importance

I intend to take a holiday this summer for no particular reason but the way I see it August is as good a month as any to throw off my formal office duds, abandon my pressing duties and just run wild, crazy rotten wild. I have a crying need for a grilled toastedcheese sandwich now!

photo, logo, paris plages 2006

There will be no meetings of the Café Metropole Club for the following Thursdays of August:– 3, 10, 17, 24 and 31. The last meeting, with or without members present, will be held next week on 27. July. The next meeting after August will be on the first Thursday in September. Mark the 7th on your calendar. For a free club many members and unusual 'firsts,' this is another rare one.

About the Café Metropole Club

In spite of the heat and street noise this club meeting 'report' represents a fraction of the actual meeting even if many words were omitted. Take a look at the inspired fable of what could have been going on here, found on the About the Café Metropole Club page, containing its tasty and rare morsels of delicious stinky frites, boiled snails and steamed low–fat cheese. Always, cheese more frites.

graphic, club location map

What This About?

These spontaneous club meetings, often more than the the little they seem, begin at 15:00 on Thursday and continue until 17:00 every Thursday. These times, check the clock fingers, are equivalent to 3 pm to 5 pm around somewhere else. Around here is where these meetings are. Whatever you say will be truly appreciated by the other members present if there are listening, and sometimes there are but not always – and if it should by rare chance be written here.* Your skill for other stories is permissible.

Caution – should you have the personal goal of remaining unfindable via the Web, be sure to inform the club's secretary that you prefer to be 404 – not found by Web search engines before becoming 'found.' Not becoming a club member is another way to remain unfound, but anyone can do it.

*The above paragraphs are relatively unchanged since last week because of the club's secretary forgetting to leave a virtual placeholder in the regular meeting location in the cafˇ, possibly confusing late arrivals.

The café's location is:

Café–Tabac La Corona
2. Rue de l'Amiral de Coligny – or – 30. Quai du Louvre
Paris 1. Métro: Louvre–Rivoli, Pont–Neuf or Châtelet.
Every Thursday, from 15:00 to 17:00.

A bientôt à Paris
signature, regards, ric

Send email concerning the
contents to: Ric Erickson, Editor.
Metropole Midi © 2014
– unless stated otherwise.
logo, metropole sml midi logo No matter how good it tastes,
there is no such thing
as a free lunch.
Waldo Bini